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Sitting amid the colour, hustle and burst of life in Cairo's 14th-century bazaar, the Khan al-Khalili, you can see the historic and contemporary blend that typifies the city. Formation of the metropolis in its modern state began with the conquering by Arab General Amr Ibn Al-Ase for Islam in 641AD. Of course, push west to the Pyramids of Giza and the time warp is even more substantial, you're now at 4000BC. Come back to the centre to Midan Tahrir 'Liberation Square', and you're at the site of the 2011 protests that brought down a president. The push and pull of time is everywhere.
In the vastness of this hectic place it's easy to lose yourself so here's a quick guide to top sites and things to do:
- Ride a felucca on the Nile – for a different perspective on the city from the longest river in the world
- Explore Islamic Cairo – the Khan al-Khalili bazaar is here along with Turkish baths, historic mosques and architecture
- Visit the Egyptian Museum – stuffed with treasures from antiquity, be ready for crowds and touts
- Ramble through Old/Coptic Cairo – Egypt's oldest surviving synagogue, the 9th-century Ben Ezra Synagogue, is fascinating
- Day trip to the Pyramids of Giza – almost subsumed by Cairo, the pyramids don't rise out of empty desert, but this is still a must-see
So if you're hankering for something to appease your travel bug, book a flight to Cairo or check out our Cairo holiday packages to keep your plans simple. Want to go but need to talk more? Call Flight Centre on 0877 40 50 00.